Las Vegas, NV
I'm not gonna lie. I'm hungover and stayed out til way past sunrise partying last night with the French press. I don't have much time to write a recap of Day 13 because we're already a few hours in Day 14. Alas, you'll get Hemingway version of yesterday. But if you want a quick, yet thorough recap check out Change100's Day 13 recap on RISE Poker.
I went to bed twenty minutes after I took the above photo from my backyard. After a few hours of sleep, I woke up, grabbed breakfast with my girlfriend at a diner near our hood, and checked the lines in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. I bet the Dallas Mavericks +5.5 and +5 the day before and I was cursing myself for not getting my bet in on the overnight line of +6 when it was posted a few minutes after the conclusion of Game 5. The line moved to +4.5 and I unsuccessfully persuaded a bookie to give me +6, even though he offered up no juice at +4.5. I just didn't see the Heat blowing out the Mavs, even though they were at home. I anticipated a close game and didn't really matter who won the game -- as long as the Mavs didn't lose by more than 4 points.
I headed to the Rio, wandered into the sportsbook where it smelled like Ben Gay and cigars. I didn't like the Rio's +4.5 line either, and instead put a small bet on Mavs moneyline before I ducked into the back hallways to avoid the massive crowds. Weekends are for Donkaments and Donkuli (the discounted $1,000 "stimulus" tournaments), which means if you get stuck in the hallways or near a bathroom during the first break, you're drowned by a sea of donks, broke dicks, pros, massage girls, spectators, and other parasites of the poker community.
I set up shop in the press box, noticed the Donukli field was so massive that the staff had to push back Day 2 of the Donkament, and caught the bracelet ceremony. I kept a keen eye on Day 2 of $2,500 Limit. Yeah, limit. That field had a couple of friends of Tao still remaining. After an hour or so on the rail (disappointing actually because I failed to get any funny quotes -- it was rather tame and boring, which indicated the overall atmosphere for the afternoon), I decided I was waaaaaaay too sober to watch a limit hold'em tournament.
I found Michalski in the hallway. We had a quick meeting and recorded an episode of Tao of Pokerati podcast -- Bookies, Dumpsters, and Mavericks -- then headed to McFadden's to drink and watch the game. Ah, west coast times for major sporting events are kinda strange considering I grew up on the East Coast and got accustomed to watching sports during "normal hours of operation." I'm not complaining about a 5pm start time, but by 6pm I had half a bag on after downing pints of Stellas. A small contingency of the G-Vegas crew (Bad Blood and the Mark) were in town to play PLO on Monday. They stopped by to sweat the second half of the game with me and Dan. Luckily, the bar was pro-Mavs which allowed me to occasionally shout out random things without drawing the ire of other patrons.
LeBron disappeared in the 4th quarter and the Mavs prevailed. I shipped a bunch of bets and was thrilled that a colleague of mine won a big bet on betting the Mavs to win in 6 games. Ballsy wager, if you ask me, but that's why he's a personal hero. It's hard to fade the public's sentiment, but that's where most of the value is in sportsbetting.
I returned to the Amazon Ballroom with a strong buzz and watched some of the 10K Stud. Smaller field than last year, but packed nonetheless. The Grinder dusted off his stack faster than they can run the Kentucky Derby.
I grabbed dinner with my girlfriend at the Palms and went home to write. Benjo had a rough day and took off from the Rio early too. He wanted to go gamble. How could I say no? We headed to the Gold Coast and sat down at a Pai Gow table. The dealer (I'm sure she's a bot) asked if Benjo and I were partners and wanted to be on the same player's card.
"We're not gay, if that's what your asking."
I thought it was funny. She didn't even blink. Knew she was a fucking bot. The session was mediocre at best for me. WhoJedi joined us for a bit and the only fun I really has was when a new dealer came in for a down. He apologized right away and said he was gonna be a little slow because he's usually a craps guy. He told me he worked at the Horseshoe back in the day and had a couple of Ted Binion stories to share. Benjo tilted when a new dealer refused to let him have soup at the table.
"No eating," she sniped.
"I'm not eating," protested Benjo. "This is soup. It's a beverage. I'm drinking!"
She wouldn't budge so Benjo got up and walked away. We (my colleagues) spend a shittload of money at Gold Coast, so they should've looked the other way. I cashed out and met Benjo in the parking lot. Benjo parked in one of the ideal spots right in front of the casino and a tweaker in a purple shirt walked up to us.
"Can I use you phone for ten seconds?" the tweaker said while his head jerked back and forth and back again.
I slid my CrackBerry into my back pocket. "Can't help you, brah."
"Okay, I'll ask a cabbie."
He darted toward the cab stand. We had seen the same tweaker an hour earlier get escorted out of the pits by Gold Coast thugs. He reeked of chemicals, had scratch marks all over his arms, and hadn't changed his clothes in three weeks. Three security vehicles converged on the tweaker and we had a front row seat. Benjo and I recorded an episode of Tao of Pokerati -- The Special Tweaker Edition -- while all of this went down.
Once the Tweaker freak show was over, we headed to the Orleans to bowl. $1 games. Can't beat that. I pinged Mr. Funk aka the author of Las Vegas Cabbie Chronicles. He had just got off work and scored a rare $85 tip from a generous customer. We bowled a few games and my advice to you is not to bet bowling with Mr. Funk because he bowls properly with a wicked spin and everything.
We walked out of the Orleans and it the sun was out.
Kinda cliche, if you ask me, as I stumbled outside and squinted, bemoaning myself for not bringing my sunglasses with me. Vegas and New Orleans are the only cities in the world where you bring sunglasses with you BEFORE you go out because if you have a proper night of raging, you're gonna need the shades to shield your eyes from the searing sun when you finally decided to go home hours after sunrise. It looked just like the one I had taken a photo of only 24 hours earlier.